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Upgrade Tektro Novella to BB5 or BB7?

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Upgrade Tektro Novella to BB5 or BB7?

Old 12-07-17, 10:52 AM
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JonnyVain
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Upgrade Tektro Novella to BB5 or BB7?

I have a pretty cheapo bike, 2014 or so Hardrock with Deore XT drive and rigid fork, WTB frequency i25 wheels. Brakes suck, so I want to upgrade. The trails I ride have a lot of descents. Is it worth paying the extra money for BB7's or are BB5's good enough? I don't need the best but definitely better than the Novella's.

Thanks.
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Old 12-07-17, 07:34 PM
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Kapusta
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Originally Posted by JonnyVain View Post
I have a pretty cheapo bike, 2014 or so Hardrock with Deore XT drive and rigid fork, WTB frequency i25 wheels. Brakes suck, so I want to upgrade. The trails I ride have a lot of descents. Is it worth paying the extra money for BB7's or are BB5's good enough? I don't need the best but definitely better than the Novella's.

Thanks.
I canít compare the either to the Novella, but the ease of adjustment of the BB7s compared to the BB5s make them worth it over the BB5s in my book.

If you do end up dropping money in BB7s, get compressionless brake cable housing as well. It makes at least as big a difference as getting better calipers. Something like Jagwire Pro
http://jagwire.com/products/housing/pro-compressionless-brake-housing

Of course, something like Shimano Deore hydraulics are not much more than BB7s plus the Jagwire cables/housing.
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Old 12-07-17, 07:41 PM
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what rotor sizes do you have? I would install 180 mm in front. More power regardless of brake, and better heat dissipation.

If after that you still are in need of better brakes, go for hydraulic (recommend Shimano).

Mechanical brakes have inherent limitations and going to a better mechanical ones will barely improve them.

Also adjust your brake lever location. You should have your fingers that pull the lever at the outset of the lever for better leverage. i switched shifter and brake to bring the brake closer to the center so my index finger pulls at the very end of the brake lever. For mechanical brakes you may need multiple fingers, so adjust accordingly.
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Old 12-07-17, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I canít compare the either to the Novella, but the ease of adjustment of the BB7s compared to the BB5s make them worth it over the BB5s in my book.

If you do end up dropping money in BB7s, get compressionless brake cable housing as well. It makes at least as big a difference as getting better calipers. Something like Jagwire Pro
http://jagwire.com/products/housing/pro-compressionless-brake-housing

Of course, something like Shimano Deore hydraulics are not much more than BB7s plus the Jagwire cables/housing.
Thanks!

Are the hydraulics that much better? I like the idea of simplicity of maintenance over a small bump in performance.
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Old 12-07-17, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by JonnyVain View Post
Thanks!

Are the hydraulics that much better? I like the idea of simplicity of maintenance over a small bump in performance.
Someone on the internet will say mechanical brakes will be best, preferably rim brakes

If you have shimano with the mineral fluid you basically bleed them every few year if some air goes in. That is less than mechanical brakes require because those need to be re-adjusted for brake wear and cables stretch and corrode over time.

Hydraulic brakes are pretty much figured out by now. If you have a car all you ever do is replace pads and every few years replace the brake fluid. But for cars you only need to replace the fluid (DOT3,4, 5.1) because it is hygroscopic (attracts water), with shimano you have mineral oil as fluid.
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Old 12-07-17, 09:22 PM
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Kapusta
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Originally Posted by JonnyVain View Post
Thanks!

Are the hydraulics that much better? I like the idea of simplicity of maintenance over a small bump in performance.
In my experience the maintenance is a wash between my XT hydros and my BB7s.

With the BB7s, I have to twiddle with the pad adjuster knobs every couple rides to keep the lever feel good. But that takes under a minute. Other than that, they are very straight forward, and anyrhing that goes wrong is very easy to fix, even on the trail. I have never once in 16 years missed a ride due to the BB7s, or ended a ride one brake short.

My XTís are generally less work. After putting in new pads (which is easier to set up than with the BB7s), there is literally nothing you need to do until you replace the pads.

That is, unless there is a problem, and then I have found them more work and time to fix than the BB7s.

So on the whole, I have probably spent less time working on the hydros, but I have missed a couple of rides due to needing a bleed or some other fix, and I have twice finished a ride with a useless brake.

But there is no denying the hydros work better. So I use them on my 6Ē trail bike where they make a big difference, but use bb7s when maximum braking power and control os less critical.

Good suggestion about the rotor. I run a larger one up front (185mm).
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Old 12-10-17, 06:58 PM
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I own Tektros, BB5s, and hydraulics. Each is a significant improvement. You have a nice xt equipped bike you want to upgrade, get hydros.
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Old 12-11-17, 02:06 PM
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On top of lacking one pad adjustment knob on the caliper, BB5s use a smaller brake pad than BB7s. So you will not get the same performance out of them as you would with BB7s. Given the real world price difference, I would recommend avoiding BB5s.

But also given real world prices for hydraulic brakes. For a mounyainbike, I would move to hydraulic brakes rather than upgrade mechanicals.
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